Image courtesy of Netflix
Famed science educator and TV host Bill Nye has been sharing his love of science on the small screen for decades now, and his current show on Netflix has revealed a whole new side of him. Bill Nye Saves the World brings together Bill Nye himself, celebrity guests such as Kevin Smith and Zach Braff, and various experts in scientific fields to inform audiences on one specific subject in each episode, and it's been a big hit with many viewers. Of course, no show nowadays is immune to online trolls, and Bill Nye Saves the World has been on the receiving end of criticism via social media. Nye spoke with CinemaBlend recently about the impact of social media and the critical folks online, saying this:
We use social to produce a whole segment on the show, which I'm very proud of. A guy who studies parasites of corn plants, in layman's terms called a corn rootworm, a worm that eats the roots of corn plants. This guy wrote and said 'Bill, why don't you have other scientists on the show? You don't know everything. What's wrong with you?' So I embrace that, we embrace that. Netflix agreed to fly in 12 people from around the world! A guy who studies finches in Australia, a woman who studies the theorized quantized nature of the passage of time. A physicist flew in just to talk about a fish, an aquaculture expert, somebody to talk about their area `of science as an absolute world-class expert. Based on Twitter! That's just cool. I'm really proud of that. So we produced extra minutes of every show through social media.
As it turns out, it was a viewer who wasn't thrilled that Bill Nye wasn't hosting other scientists on Bill Nye Saves the World who inspired the #BillMeetScienceTwitter segment at the end of episodes. The segments feature Nye bringing an expert in a certain field in front of the audience to give a little lesson about something important on which Nye himself isn't the top authority. After all, even Bill Nye -- whether he's teaching kids as the Science Guy or saving the world on Saves the World -- doesn't know everything about everything. #BillMeetScienceTwitter allows the show to deliver more information from the brightest minds in their fields.
Netflix is clearly on board with #BillMeetScienceTwitter, given that the streaming service signed off on flying a dozen people to the set of Bill Nye Saves the World for the sake of a few minutes at the end of an episode. Luckily, airing on Netflix means that Bill Nye and the rest of the team at the show don't have to cut the rest of the episode short for the sake of the social media-based segment. Episodes don't have to hit or stop at 30 minutes. Nye and Co. can simply add an extra few minutes at the end.
Unfortunately, not all feedback from fans -- or in some cases, trolls -- can be turned into something positive for the show. Bill Nye has received a fair amount of unfriendliness online, and he went on in our chat to say this about what he hears from trolls on the Internet:
The trolls are charming in their way. The first thing is 'Bill Nye is not a scientist.' Which, okay, a mechanical engineer. I took four full years of classical physics. I took six semesters of calculus. Sorry, everybody, when you say I'm not a scientist at some level, you're absolutely wrong, so knock yourselves out, trolls. Go crazy.
Apparently, some viewers take issue with the fact that Bill Nye isn't a scientist insofar as he's not a chemist or a biologist or meteorologist. That said, Nye has clearly put in the academic work to know what he's talking about and when to bring in other experts to give their scientific two cents. He teaches, entertains, and inspires an enthusiasm for science in viewers, especially those who watched Bill Nye the Science Guy as kids and now get to watch the more adult-themed Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix.
You can catch Season 1 and half of Season 2 of Bill Nye Saves the World streaming on Netflix now. The second half of Season 2 will debut on the streaming service at some point, which means that there will be even more science to watch (or binge-watch) courtesy of Bill Nye. For your other streaming options, don't forget to check out our 2018 Netflix premiere guide.